Meet the Bad Boy Beards in Brewing
It’s something of an unspoken rule, a rite of being that few even comment on because of its pervasiveness. True, there are exceptions, but they are just that, exceptions, and the norm still rules the day.
I’m talking about brewers and their beards. In this city at least, it seems that if you are making the beer the people you want to drink, then facial hair is not only a plus, but a must.
Here are three such fine brewers in the city, and undoubtedly, the beer they make tastes even better because of the bounty of the beard.
Zack Null – North High Brewing
Zack Null’s beard comes and goes, but “there’s always something.” Because of his, ahem, boyish looks, aka baby face, he feels the need to always maintain some kind of facial hair in order to be taken seriously for the brewer he seriously is.
He believes that having a beard is useful in the world of craft beer brewing. He calls it, “The Trust Factor”. Simply put, folks who like drinking craft beers generally trust the quality of the beer if the brewer has a beard.
It speaks to the trust we’ve always put in men with beards, from Abraham Lincoln and Santa Claus, to Chuck Norris and Harry Potter’s Hagrid. Having a beard says, “I can grow things, I can tend and upkeep, I am patient.”
And aren’t these traits we want in the person producing our favorite libation? Someone with the skill and capacity to nurture a thing till it’s ready? A brewer with a beard rushes no batch, and always has his consumers’ backs.
Nick Gabriel – Four String Brewing
Growing a beard is not always about a desire to not to shave regularly. For Nick Gabriel, that’s where it started though. Now, it’s a lifestyle, a part of who he is at his core, and he couldn’t imagine who he would be without his beard.
Nick had been a home brewer long before he joined the Four String team. He realized quite early on he could parlay his hobby, beer-making, into his career, and so began the long journey from dream to reality, which is not unlike growing a beard of which you can be really proud.
See, the craft beer industry encourages behavior like this. For many of the bearded persuasion, the chance to work in, and be part of, a world that celebrates individuality and diversity is the real ABV: All-round Best Vantage.
So Nick tends his beers like he tends his beard: with controlled abandon and wary whimsy. His appreciation for the nuances of uniqueness reflects his dedication to the many fine forms in which beers can not only be made, but enjoyed as well.
Max Lachowyn – Seventh Son Brewing
Max Lachowyn definitely has the right attitude to be a brewer. He began, like so many others, experimenting at home, till he landed a gig one fateful day as a keg washer and delivery driver for Elevator Brewing Company.
His thirst for knowledge, and beer, drove him to pursue the life of science/art/engineering he enjoys today, which is immediately obvious when you take a look at his full and manly beard.
Around since he was 17, Max started growing a beard because he could. He found it came easy to his face, and so, why not a beard? It’s a thing of passion now, like the beers he makes every day at one of the city’s favorite breweries.
Self-expression is key in the craft beer world; it’s really the only way to stand out. Max’s beard is an expression of his truest self, and that self says: ” I brew beer for a living. How seriously do you really think I can take myself?”
We take you seriously Max. We take you seriously, indeed.
Photos by Ayana Wilson.
Columbus Underground is showcasing the local beer scene with Beer Week! From July 7th to July 13th, we’ll be sharing stories on homebrewing, guides to beer-centric bars, tasting beer how-to, cooking with beer, and more, sponsored by our friends at The Short North Pint House & Beer Garden. Every Wednesday, The Pint House brings in a different brewery to take over their taps featuring a diverse lineup of the best brews for you to try. Oftentimes, these brews are very rare or limited edition so come enjoy them while they have them! Every draft purchase is served in the brewery’s custom beer glass which is yours to keep while supplies last! For more information visit ShortNorthPintHouse.com.